Stop Doing Dumbbell Rows Like This!


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we’re going to talk about the one armed
row. Now look, it was in our 23 exercise fails
video for a reason. You’ve seen people do it this way. Now, I’m not going to point out the obvious
and say “Don’t do it like this”, because we know that this is really, really bad. The more important thing that is even 10%
of that is still bad. It’s going to have a really negative impact. Not just on your gains, but really your longevity
here if you plan on training for a long time. So let’s break down the exercise and I’ll
show you why all that stuff is no good. Okay, first of all, when we go to do the row
the position of your feet is going to matter because we’re trying to use the row to train
our lats, not necessarily our upper back. So if we get in here, tight, and we put our
foot up close, and we have our hand in here, close, and I grab the dumbbell, and I go,
and I start rowing from here; by nature, I don’t have a lot of room. So I have to pull a little higher and when
I pull high here, now you can see I’m working the muscles up here in the upper trap region
a lot more than I am working the lats. If I want to work on the lats then what I
need to do is I need to get longer. So if I put my foot back a little bit more,
drop my knee back a little bit more, reach out a little bit more on the bench; it’s also
going to lead to fixing that other, humongous point that I mentioned in the beginning of
this video. That is the position of our thoracic spine. We’ve just opened up the lat now to be able
to work a lot more here, pulling with the elbow, and training it, which is perfect. We just want to do that, right? But now we’ve also taken the thoracic spine
and put it in a better position. So when we see this, that’s a problem because
you can’t move your lumbar spine – the part that really bothers most of us, low back pain
– unless you have proper position of the spine above because it’s all one, continuous
unit. So try this with me. Go like this and hunch forward. Now, stick out your butt. As soon as you try to stick out your butt
here, you see it starts fixing my mid-back, like that. You can’t fix this without it pulling the
mid-back a little bit more into extension. So you have to be able to get yourself in
position, and then realize that you’re allowing the mid-back to arch, and you need to be able
to fix it. It gets fixed in two places. You stick your butt up, toward the ceiling. Lift your butt up, toward the ceiling. At the same time, let your chest stick out. If I stick my chest out and lift my butt up
I’ve now got the thoracic positioning here that I need, that I can now do the row from. I’ve also put myself in a great position to
get a good stretch on the lat at the bottom, and then rep out from there. Now remember, on the pull; the pull is not
a hammer curl. We all do this: pull. Pull. We’re not working biceps here today, guys. This is not the hammer curl day. This is the one-armed row exercise. So you’re pulling back with your elbow. Get it to about 90, lock it out, and pull
up. I went over this tip on the hard gainer video
with Jessie for his back. You pull with the elbow, back behind the level
of your torso. You’ve got to get it back, behind your body
if you want to work your lat fully. So now, you might be saying to yourself “But
I can’t get myself into that position.” That’s why I look like this; like a hunchback. We call it the “Hunchback Row”. You can, but you might have to do a couple
things before you train. If you’re going to train your back and you
don’t have the ability to get into thoracic extension here, I would go so far as to say
you’d better then reevaluate what exercises you’re doing in your back workout because
rows instantly become a lot more dangerous. If you can’t get yourself here and you try
to row like this, that’s bad. Pull downs; same thing. Pull ups; same thing. That is not the position to be in when you’re
training your back. So do the exercise I’m showing you here. I showed you this warm-up before. You don’t need to have a bar in your hands. You can just do it with your hands open and
nothing in them. But rotate to the side, allow your body to
lean back as you do, you’ll open up the chest, but at the same time you’ll stay into thoracic
extension. It’s a good mobility drill for you to try. Secondly, roll your back. Do a full row. Not to the low back. Never to the low back. Just in the middle thoracic spine to allow
you to mobilize that area, to get a little bit more loose, into extension, prior to doing
your back workout. I promise you, if you kick into this position
now you will easily be able to get into position by just doing a few of those things right
before you train your back. All right, guys? So that is the way to do this. It’s an exercise form fail. Good exercise when done right. Horrible exercise when done wrong. You knew I wouldn’t just leave you hanging
with my 23 exercise fails. You know I’m going to follow it up with the
science and tell you the better way to do it, and also make sure that even guys that
thought they had perfected this a long time ago get something from this as well. All right, guys. If you’re looking for a complete program,
step by step that puts the science into what we do, head to ATHLEANX.com. Click on the link below the video. Use our program selector to make sure you’re
getting the program that’s specific to your goals. We have the ability to do that by asking you
just a couple of questions, and it takes just a few minutes. That’s over at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found the video
helpful, leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what you want me to cover here
in a future video and I’ll do my best to do that. All right, guys. See you soon.

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